Minneapolis Star Tribune
November 15, 1992

Having Fun on the Run

Harriers' specialty: having fun on the run

Minneapolis Star Tribune
15 November 1992
By Nolan Zavoral

Hash House puts the 'jock' in 'jocularity    

A cry rang out: "On! On!"  A pack of runners swerved toward the sound, which was emanating from one of their number who had found the correct trail to follow.  The Minneapolis Hash House Harriers regrouped and plodded onward.

The Harriers form a most unusual running club.  Courses vary from 2 to 12 miles, but winning not only is inconsequential, it's discouraged.  Times are not kept.  Participants carry whistles to call back the leaders.  False trails are marked to frustrate pace-setters.  The idea is to enjoy the run while conversing in the middle of the pack -- and to work up a thirst.   There are beer, pop and water stops along the way.  Of the 15 to 20 runners who pay $5 apiece for a run, most favor hops, members say.

The Minneapolis branch, one of 1,200 worldwide, is the state's only chapter.  More than 100 runs have been held since the Minneapolis chapter was formed in 1985.

The English originated the concept.   In 1938, several British officers were eating and drinking at an Indonesian club nicknamed the Hash House.  They decided they were sadly out of shape.  Something should be done -- and it was, right after the next round.  Soon, they began running through the jungle, following a paper-marked trail.

The Minneapolis club runs year-around on Sundays, usually along a cross-country course, although malls and caves have been used.  Special runs are scheduled the night of the full moon.   "One night we ran through the rotunda at the Capitol when the Legislature was still in session," said St.. Paul's Jack Scheeler, a member since '87.  "We were using our whistles and hollering, 'On! On!'  The police weren't sure what we were up to.   "We ran right through it all.  We do have some fun times."

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